Broken Windshield on the boat? No Problem

On a trip about a year ago at the very least, a passenger of mine was leaning on my windshield when we were cutting through some fairly choppy waters, and put a huge crack in it. I removed the busted up shield and set it aside. I will get the windshield repaired “soon of course”, when really gathering dust is all it did. A few months later, when taking the boat to a local repair shop for an issue I couldn’t repair myself, the windshield was put in the boat to be looked at and possibly fabricated by the shop.

Well, the windshield had flown away on the drive there, never to be seen again. Now I had no template, and finding an exact replacement would be tough. After procrastinating for months after that, I finally went on the lookout for someone that could do a ninety degree bend to fit my console. Others in the area had said they couldn’t. I really didn’t want to haul the boat to a shop for measurements.

After searching the web and asking some friends, I found out there was a plastic shop up the road from me in Brandon, Plastics America, and to my surprise the fabricators could design a windshield with just a sketch drawing of the dimensions; there is an example of how to do this on their website.

Measure each side of the console

 

It's important to be as accurate as possible.

That’s cool for some, but I took pictures and showed the fabricator at the shop to ensure a good fit. After roughly a week I had my windshield,  a quarter inch thick tinted windshield.

Back from the shop, ready to be drilled and installed.

Dave at Plastics America even gives you grommets and a drill bit to go with it. They grind a bit for you to be used for plexiglass drilling, as plexiglass must be tapered through, not drilled straight down. If you are upgrading on a console without a previous windshield, you will have to measure and mark where you want to have it mounted. With mine, existing holes were used, so I was good to go.

All that's needed for an easy install.

 Mark the windshield and drill your holes:

Make sure your careful and don't put a small scratch in it like I did...

 After drilling clean up the freshly drilled holes and install the grommets:

Drilled and cleaned

Grommet installed with finishing washer besides it.
Ready for install, simple.

Put the finishing washer and screw in the existing console holes loosely, and make sure everything is lined up. Screw it in and you’re done. A level may be necessary, but you may be able to eye it out. There is no reason to put any sealant or 5200 on the screw threads. In my opinion the new windshield really makes the boat look great, especially after not having one for so long. The shop was very helpful, plus the windshield with all hardware and tax came out to less than two hundred dollars.

Before...
After

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